High Cascades Forest Volunteers
Trail Work and Other Projects
If you are leading a group and need to let people know, you can have your information posted on this page. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and your information will be posted.
Volunteers with the Willamette, Deschutes and Siuslaw National Forests need to fill out a volunteer agreement. You will get details about this when you inquire about helping with one of the projects.
Volunteer bonus! If you itemize deductions on your tax return, expenses (such as mileage) incurred for Forest Service volunteer work are tax deductible.
Wilderness & Trails Projects (general description ~ specific projects are listed below)
Help monitor and care for many miles of trails and remote campsites in the Willamette, Umpqua, Deschutes, and Siuslaw National Forest's back country and wilderness areas. Wilderness Trail Head HostWeekends in July & August Camp at Wilderness trail heads during high use holiday weekends while you educate visitors about good Wilderness recreation practices. Trail Survey ProjectsJune-July Hike trails as they open for the season to check for downed trees, trail and bridge damage and report back to help us gauge the trail crew work needed.
Trail Maintenance Projects June-Sept.
Strenuous work clearing trails. Some projects are multi-day pack-in trips and volunteers need to be in good physical shape. Multi-day pack-in trail projects on the Pacific Crest Trail. Tasks include cutting brush, cleaning and constructing water bars, and improving trail tread.
Horse PackersJuly-Sept. Various Wilderness projects for horse packing volunteers. From brushing and tread work to packing in fish. Backcountry campsite check-up and clean-upMay-SeptPlease contact Judy Mitchell Campsites around lakes need to be checked and cleaned early in the season, as well as throughout the summer If you are interested in helping us keep lake areas off trails clean. Forest Service botanists are interested in finding and identifying noxious weeds in Wilderness areas. If you would like to seek out and identify noxious weeds
Adopt-a-Lake ProjectsYou set the datePlease contact Judy Mitchell Take pride in a special lake area and help keep lake campsites clean. Good for groups, families, friends working together, or individuals. Lake Site MaintenanceYou set the datePlease contact Judy Mitchell Maintenance on mountain lakes in dispersed recreation areas. At least twice during the summer ~
The Middle Fork Ranger District needs help with ski trail condition reporting, signing, light maintenance, as well as adopt-a-ski trail and adopt-a-snow shelter programs. Lyndell Wilken email@example.com
We need to think about and re-emphasize safety. Sometimes we get a bit complacent and then all of a sudden get a wake-up call. What we're doing can be downright dangerous, so complacency has no place out on the trail. There are basic rules we need to follow all the time. Let's rehash some of them:
1. Mandatory personal gear when hiking to from/working at all times - gloves, good boots, long-sleeve shirt, adequate clothing for the weather conditions (always long pants),safety glasses when appropriate, and LAST BUT NOT LEAST Hard-Hat at all times on the trail. How about the guy working trail on the coast range, hit and killed by a boulder.
2. When hiking or working keep at a safe distance between individuals (at least 10 feet) and as you approach or pass a worker let them know you are there.
3. X-cut work is dangerous. It is recommended (and I strongly agree) that if you anticipate being on projects using x-cuts to at the very least take the introduction to x-cut class, really recommend you become certified. The potential for accidents using x-cuts cannot be overstated. Every log across the trail has potential problems and the more logs we cut the more I realize this. Reading the log is critical. Just taking the saw out of the sheath and putting it back on is dangerous, these saws are razor sharp. Just ask the individual taking a supervised x-cut saw-filing class in California last year who had 8 stitches because got a little sloppy. Several of the basic rules tackling a down log:
-spend adequate time "reading" the log -plan and prepare your escape route before beginning the cut -clear potential limbs, etc., from and away from the log before beginning the cut -when cutting always position your body to keep free of the saw-teeth (you'd be surprised how many cuts happen on the legs) -saw in a position away from where the log might roll or barber chair
4. Might seem trivial but always carry adequate water (or filter) and food. Trail work is hard and your body needs more than your normal about of water and calories, summer or winter.
5. Know the tools you are working with, how to use them properly and safety. Any questions ask the crew leader or a more seasoned co-worker.
These are just SOME of the safety issues we need to be aware of, there are many more. Think about them.
To find out more about the following on-going projects, contact Judy Mitchell for Willamette National Forest or Kit Dickey for Deschutes National Forest. Check this page for specific projects.